Yugo SKS Hog Rifle Update
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Copyright 2006 - 2014 by Junior Doughty

Click small photos for full size photos

Click for full size popup photo I've had H E double L with my Yugo sights. On a recent cool morning I slung my Yugo across my back and, with a hatchet, chopped a stalking path down an overgrown haul road in the river bottom near my home. The photo shows what the rear WSKS sight looked like when I started chopping.

A couple of hours later and a half mile down the haul road, the sight was gone. I suspect a vine or limb caught on the aperture or slipped in the gap beneath the base and flipped the sight up and off the rifle and out in the bushes somewhere.

A sight so easily dislodged had no business on a dangerous game rifle. It was time for a different rear sight.

I keep a plastic box full of sights and sight parts removed from rifles and pistols over the last 40 years or so. Digging around in it, I found a Williams 5D 94-336 sight with unknown ancestry—in other words, I don't know where in H E double L it came from.

It looked to me like the 5D would fit the flat receiver of the Yugo as well as it would fit the flat receiver of a Winchester or Marlin. But like past experience with my Yugo's sights, installing the 5D wasn't a picnic. First, I drilled and tapped the flat side of the receiver. And the rearward hole somehow turned out slightly lower than the forward hole.

The forward (left) hole is drilled all the way through the receiver and tapped 6-48 with a taper tap. The screw, which came with the sight, stopped just below the surface on the other side and thus required no trimming. The rearward hole is drilled about 1/4" deep into a lug on the other side and tapped 6-48 with a bottom tap.

The Brownells #31 3-flute carbide drill and both 6-48 carbon taps did their jobs well.

I positioned the sight in the most vine and limb proof spot possible. The aperture sits just inside the receiver hump and out of the way. To get under the aperture a "flipper" must be (1) small in diameter and (2) make an upward motion followed by a quick frontward motion.

Click for full size popup photo To fit the sight I used files and/or a Dremel® tool on the stock, the sight base, and the sight elevator crosspiece.

  • The stock required slight wood removal so the sight base didn't bottom on the edge of the stock.

  • Notice the horizontal line/gap between the rifle's removable receiver cover on the top and the receiver on the bottom. The cover was a tad wider than the receiver. I filed maybe .002" off the back of the base, upper half, to eliminate contact between the base and the removable cover.

  • The rifle shot high with the elevator all the way down against the top of the receiver cover. To lower the POI, and the rear sight, I removed much metal from the bottom of the elevator crosspiece and the top of the receiver cover.

NOTE #1: My LOS is so low, an aperture with a diameter larger than 3/8" won't fit.

NOTE #2: The receiver cover removes easily with the 5D installed. However, the 5D's elevator must be removed in order to remove the bolt carrier and the bolt from the action. But the re-installed elevator returns to zero.

Full size, not clickable Were I to start the Yugo sights project over, I would have installed a 5D to begin with. I would have also installed the Fire Sight front to a height of at least 1.450" over the bore centerline instead of 1.400"; thus giving the rear sight some adjustment range.

Look at this close up of the zeroed 5D's scale as shown in the above photo. The large marks are .100" apart. The in-between, smaller marks are .020" apart. I have plenty of "Up" adjustment but no "Down" adjustment. Raising the front sight a little and, by consequence, the rear sight, would have allowed both up & down adjustment of the elevator/scale. Only .020" of movement here at the scale translates to about 1.4" of bullet impact movement at 50 yards.

Hindsight being 20-20, if I had installed the front sight a little higher I would now have plenty of rear sight adjustment for a different load. I'd like to try the Lee C309-113-F "soup can" bullet @ about 2,000 fps in this rifle. But if it shoots high, I can't adjust it down.

Click for full size popup photoThis top view photo shows how much grinding I did on the receiver cover.

The receiver cover wasn't very thick, and with a little more grinding I would have made a hole in it. Also, if I change loads and need to lower the rear sight some more, well, there's not much grinding room left on either the receiver cover or the elevator crosspiece. I also thought I could just grind until good zero came with the rear sight all the way down against the receiver cover. Wrong. Upon firing, the carrier and bolt inside the receiver slamming back against the cover loosened the elevator adjustment screw in only one shot.

I left enough clearance between the crosspiece and the cover for a .003" thick strip of Miss May 2006 to slide between them. No loose adjustment screw since.

The loosening problem made me wonder if it would occur with a scope mounted to the cover instead of the receiver. If you plan to install a scope or better open sights on your Yugo SKS grenade launcher version:

  • Mount the scope to the receiver and not the receiver cover.
  • Install a front sight with at least 1.450" height above the centerline of the bore.
Moving the rear sight further to the rear gave a sight radius of 26.5" instead of 17.25" or more than a 50 % improvement. I expected better accuracy and got it. As a bonus, moving the aperture a lot closer to my eye improved my focus on the front sight. Some sort of optical phenomenon changed the front sight image from blurry to sharply focused, which probably helped accuracy, too.

Full size, not clickable This photo shows the last 3 shot group fired after the rifle's final zero with the 5D sight. I fired this group with the rifle's gas valve in the "Off" position.

  • Range: 50 yards

  • 3 shots: 5/8"

  • Bullet: Lyman 311041 of ww alloy with Hornady gas check; twice lubed with Lee Liquid Alox; push-through sized .311"; weight RTL = 178.0 grs

  • Powder: 1.8cc dipped surplus 4895

  • Average velocity: 1698 fps
I'm thinking I like this rifle. If I'm through working on the sights. . . .

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